United under-11s into semi-finals of Plate after penalty shootout drama

Ballymena's Michael Leetch in action while man of the match William Francey (5) looks on. INBT 12-184CS
Ballymena's Michael Leetch in action while man of the match William Francey (5) looks on. INBT 12-184CS

Ballymena United under-11s reached the semi-finals of the National Plate after a penalty shootout drama at the weekend.

The wee Sky Blues progressed to the last four by defeating Windmill Stars on spot kicks after their tie finished level at one goal apiece.

Ballymena's Ben Davidson. INBT 12-182CS

Ballymena's Ben Davidson. INBT 12-182CS

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Ballymena United Youth Academy 1, Windmill Star 1 (Ballymena United win 4-2 on penalties): A semi final berth for the under 11s in the National plate.

They dominated this game in the first period but only had a single goal to show for their endeavours, a lovely deft finish from Oscar McClay who had raced onto a through ball.

United were impressive in attack but missed a number of chances when midway through the second period the Newry side equalised after some confusion at the back.

Mark McLean in action for Ballymena United Under 11s in their Under 11 Shield win over Windmill Star from Newry. INBT 12-183CS

Mark McLean in action for Ballymena United Under 11s in their Under 11 Shield win over Windmill Star from Newry. INBT 12-183CS

Extra time failed to separate the teams and in the dreaded penalty shoot out United prevailed with Matthew Millar firing home the decisive spot kick to send the Skies through.

A great team performance but two quality second half saves from Mason Hume were memorable on the day

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Ballymena United Youth Academy 3, Ridgeway 5: The Under 12’s lost out narrowly to a high quality Ridgeway team on Saturday in an entertaining game in the Lisburn League Cup.

A nervy 5 minute spell in the first half was the main difference in the teams who were keenly matched all over the pitch.

Ridgeway took the lead in the first minute from a corner but Adam Watterson volleyed in a superb equaliser following good link up play between Adam Millar and Joshua Balmer.

The outstanding Timmy McClure had efforts hit the post and saved by the keeper before Ridgeway capitalised on errors to take a commanding half time lead.

Adam Millar was in top form with his work rate, passing and link up excellent throughout.

Cammy McMullan was as brave as ever in defence. Balmer finished well to give the Sky Blues hope and McClure and Tennant were unfortunate with great efforts.

Scott Montgomery and Mark Lowry won the midfield battle and Montgomery scored a majestic header to reduce the deficit.

Mom Adam Millar / Timmy McClure

Ballymena United under-12 are sponsored by Tullyglass Hotel.

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Lisburn Rangers 5, Ballymena United Youth Academy 2:

With the score deadlocked at 1-1 at half time the 2002 boys will be disappointed this game went away from them in the second half again. The under 14s exit the National Shield.

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St Oliver Plunkett 1, Ballymena United 1: Hot shot striker Andie Smyth was again on target for United but they will be disappointed that they did not secure the win.

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Maiden City 4, Ballymena United 1: Ballymena were defeated 4-1 in the league cup against a very good Maiden City team.

Maiden City started off with a tempo and took the lead early on.

Ballymena grew more into the match and drew level with a Bradley Cairns goal.

In an entertaining game Ballymena almost went ahead through Simon Evans but it was Maiden City who went ahead again.

City scored a third via a deflection and scored their fourth before half time.

To their credit Ballymena took the game to City in the second and had chances through Philip Maybin, Sam Armstrong and Jamie Houston but couldnt get back into the game.